Professor Sibrandes Poppema, President of the Board of the University of Groningen, has been nominated Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea. Today, Thursday 12 April, the official inauguration by H.E. Key Cheol Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, took place in the Academy Building of the University.
Ambassador Key Cheol Lee sprang a surprise on everyone by beginning his speech with a few sentences in fluent Dutch, declaring his love to the Netherlands and the Dutch people. He then praised Professor Poppema for his great affection for and interest in Korea. ‘In addition to his affection, he is a person who can make something happen. He can make a difference.’
The ambassador emphasized the similarities between the Republic of Korea and the Netherlands, stating the democratic nature of both countries and the strong economic relationship. ‘I am glad to see Korean students attending this inauguration. And I would like to see more Korean students on my next visit. I am sure Prof. Poppema is the right person to achieve our shared goals.’
As a pathologist, Poppema has been active in academic collaboration with the Republic of Korea since 1990; he has been engaged in teaching and research at several Korean universities and research institutions. During the past few years, he has also been active in institutional cooperation with higher education institutions and government bodies in Korea.
‘Korea is a very important trade partner for our country’, the new Honorary Consul General said after the inauguration. ‘And we would like to welcome many more Korean students to Groningen. Koreans fully realize that education is the way to democracy and prosperity. Korean parents are used to sending their children to the best schools and universities, so we have common goals.
‘I know what I need to do as Honorary Consul General: assist Korean people here in the Netherlands and promote the relationship between the two countries. I am very proud to represent Korea in the Netherlands and promise I will do everything to make this partnership a success.’
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